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Man City run-in: Fixtures analysis

BUSINESS END: City are in the season run-in

BUSINESS END: City are in the season run-in

Manchester City have just four games of the season remaining, with the race for the top four as tight as can be.

Pep Guardiola's side currently lie fourth, three points behind Liverpool with a game in hand and just one point ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United. 

Here's a look at the Blues' remaining and fixtures and those of our rivals. 

Sat 6 May – Crystal Palace (Etihad) – Premier League

Though Palace are still straining every sinew to secure their Premier League survival, City will be only too aware that this fixture is fraught with danger.

Palace’s fortunes have been transformed by the arrival of former England manager Sam Allardyce, who took over at Selhurst Park just after Christmas with the Eagles mired in trouble.

Slowly but surely his methods have yielded impressive results, most notably a stunning 2-1 win at leaders Chelsea last month with winger Wilfried Zaha and striker Christian Benteke spearheading the Eagles’ remarkable revival.

Sat 6 May – Crystal Palace (Etihad) – Premier League

Though Palace are still straining every sinew to secure their Premier League survival, City will be only too aware that this fixture is fraught with danger.

Palace’s fortunes have been transformed by the arrival of former England manager Sam Allardyce, who took over at Selhurst Park just after Christmas with the Eagles mired in trouble.

Slowly but surely his methods have yielded impressive results, most notably a stunning 2-1 win at leaders Chelsea last month with winger Wilfried Zaha and striker Christian Benteke spearheading the Eagles’ remarkable revival.

However, City have already beaten Palace away both in the league and the FA Cup this season and a hat-trick of wins would be the perfect tonic going into the last week of the season.

Elsewhere, Liverpool entertain Southampton on the Sunday while Manchester United travel to Arsenal.

Spurs face a tricky trip to West Ham on Friday, May 4 with leaders Chelsea at home to Boro on the Monday night.

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Sat 13 May – Leicester City (Etihad) – Premier League

The defending Premier League champions will arrive in Manchester with their top-flight status looking all but secure after a roller-coaster campaign which saw the Foxes flirt with disaster when they dropped into the bottom three, part company with title-winning manager Claudio Ranieri yet become England’s last representatives in the Champions League.

For City, the fixture will offer the chance to atone for last December’s disappointing 4-2 loss at a rain-lashed King Power Stadium.

Given the Foxes also beat City 3-1 at the Etihad on their way to the winning the title last season, the Blues will also be eager for revenge ahead of their last two league fixtures.

With Arsenal away at Stoke in the tea-time fixture before third-placed Liverpool face a tricky trip to West Ham a Manchester United away at Spurs the following day, if City do prevail it would be perfectly timed.

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Tuesday 16 May – West Brom (Etihad) – Premier League

City’s final home fixture of the season falls on a Tuesday night and the Blues will be looking to provide a rousing midweek send-off for the Etihad supporters.

Currently lying in eighth spot, West Brom have enjoyed a successful campaign under the astute leadership of Tony Pulis and Guardiola has already spoken of how difficult a fixture he expects when the Baggies visit Manchester.

However, City produced a wonderful display in winning 4-0 at the Hawthorns last October and another three points could prove decisive in terms of securing that all-important top-four berth.

Arsenal host Sunderland that night while Manchester United travel to Southampton 24 hours later. 

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Sun 21 May – Watford (Vicarage Road) – Premier League

Guardiola and his players will want to bring the curtain down on their league campaign in fitting style when City visit Vicarage Road.

Watford have blown hot and cold under Italian Walter Mazzarri but have proved a formidable obstacle on home soil so City will need to be at their best if they are emulate last December’s 2-0 home triumph against the Hornets and finish on a high.

The other significant final day fixtures see Arsenal host Everton, Liverpool entertain Middlesbrough and Manchester United play host to Crystal Palace.

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